Problems associated with tipping are seen throughout the country.
Tipping can be a great way to earn extra income. As you may often see on social media, people tip others for providing useful information, unique content, or when they need a little extra help financially. But living completely off tips like many waiters are forced to do comes from a system that has been in the United States for over 100 years, and it's actually a really problematic practice based on its history.The roots of the tipping system are racist, andlow-wage workers who rely on tips tend to be disproportionately women and people of color today. According to Saru Jayaraman, writing forUniversity of California, Berkeley’s Labor Center, the American tipping system was used widely to keep freed slaves poor. According to Jayaraman's research, many white employers resented having to pay former slaves, and tipping was a legal way around providing actual wages. Jayaraman haswritten a book that further outlines what goes on in American restaurants.When the tipping system first began to take holdin the United States, it was almost exclusively used for Black people.John Speed, a journalist during this time, wrote, "Negroes take tips of course; one expects that of them — it is a token of their inferiority." This practice kept Black people poor, and provided white people with cheap labor.Aaron Ross Coleman, a New York University business and economic reporting Masters student tells Wear Your Voice, “The tipping system as constructed doesn’t benefit customers or employees. Patrons of restaurants regularly have to pay more money than advertised for their food because of gratuity. And waitresses and waiters often engage in performative and sometimes taxing emotional labor just to make a decent wage. And all of this is happening so employers don’t have to pay a living wage. If fast food restaurants and grocery stores can manage to pay the minimum wage, casual restaurants can too.”
Tackling on-campus is complicated, here are some practical tips for students looking to create sustainable change.
By Gloria OladipoWhen will this foolishness end? Real talk though. At Cornell University, my current schooling, there have been a number of “racially insensitive incidents”. In the past 4 months “Build a Wall” has been chanted at the Latino Living Center, an African-American student was beaten while being called a “nigger”, and anti-semitic posters were hung up around campus. Oddly, I don’t feel surprise or shock, but I do feel a constant disappointment that this is the world we live in. Adding onto my disappointment is the lingering feeling that nothing can really be done to make campuses a safer space for marginalized students. As for the faculty, bureaucracy and hollow olive branches have been the forwarded responses. The main strategy has included plastering fliers reading “Hate has no home here” across campus, as well as the creation of various sub-committees. The student response has been a slew of protests, occupation of board meetings, and lists of demands. While I applaud the actions of students as kinetic compared to the sedentary pace of the faculty’s, all of these actions still leave me wondering: “Is this it?”. I wanted to write this article as a pseudo-instruction manual to students, trying to suggest strategies to more effectively combat the racial climate on campuses, but then I thought: “I also don’t know what to do.” There is a question I still struggle with: How are we, as students, supposed to actively combat our own feelings of powerlessness by fighting against racism while also acknowledging the structures that prevent true change in the first place? So after curating responses from older folks and different community members, I melded them with my own thoughts to create a shortlist of opinions regarding the role of students:
After 50 Shades of Grey came out, the media acted like the author who wrote that garbage book invented kink. Three cheers for that book allowing some folks, especially women, to embrace new parts of their sexuality. So many jeers for
You’re not advocating properly when you put LGBTQ+ youth in the backburner.
I didn't know that when I grew up, I'd be advocating for reproductive justice and sexual education reform. I didn't know that I'd become a vocal person about the intersections between race, gender, and sexuality. If you asked me a few years ago, I wouldn't have known I'd become a digital activist. In fact, I didn't I'd become very aware and disillusioned with the sexual education system. I grew up in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. As many people can safely assume, New York City is pretty liberal as most American cities go. Most of my life, I've gone to public schools, where it was mandatory to teach about HIV/AIDS but not explicitly sexual education. I ended up going to a Catholic, all-girls high school and got a decent sexual education. Instead of getting abstinence-only education, I ended up getting basic information on how to be protected during a sexual encounter and what to do to prevent pregnancy (my high school was also in a neighborhood that had a pretty high teen pregnancy rate, which might explain why they avoided abstinence-only education).